Belize & Ambergris Caye Help

Seafood Guide to Belize

Seafood Guide to Belize: Closed seasons, banned catches, size and catch limits, Special laws and permits.

Why you Should Care.  Fisheries Stocks are declining globally the ocean is not the unlimited resource we once thought it was. Many Scientists are predicting a complete collapse in the next 50 years. While Belize is better off than some countries, catches have declined in recent decades and most of the large (>40cm) fishes are gone.

The Belize Fisheries Department is doing their best by implementing seasons and size limits for many commercial species but data collection and enforcement are often difficult obstacles.

We need greater protection of out wild fisheries stocks and better ways to rebuild dwindling stocks not only for continued seafood production for future generations but also to preserve the marine ecosystem which in turn will help protect the planet.

You are what you eat. Pollution in our oceans has a real trickle down effect. Mercury has been found in many large fish and shark species and warnings exist especially for pregnant women on just how much fish they should eat. There are currently no regulations on shark fishing in Belize and it is often substituted for fish in local treats like panandes.

Lionfish are an invasive species to the Caribbean that eat up our commercial fish and have no natural predators here; the best eradication methods are to kill them and they are good to eat too. But take care as their fins are poisonous (not the fillet though).

You can Make a Difference. Supply and Demand. If the consumer knows the proper seasons for seafood in Belize they are better equipped to make decisions at the restaurant or on their fishing trip. BY ensuring your local guides and restaurants comply with Belize’s Fishery Laws you are helping to protect commercial seafood species for generations to come. While we are making strides in mariculture options they can never replace natural stocks which still need more protection now and forever.

Complete Ban – CoralAll Parrotfish – Blue Tang – Surgeon Fish – Permit – Tarpon – Bone Fish – Marine Turtle (all species) -Whale Shark – All Marine Mammals – Diced Conch – Diced Lobster

Closed Seasons – Conch July 1st to Sept 30th – Lobster February 15th to June 14th – Nassau Grouper – December 1st to March 31 Wild Shrimp (trawler sources; farm shrimp is legal all year around) July 14 – March 14th – Hickatee May 1st to May 31st

Catch  & Size Limits – Conch Shell Length – 7 inches  Market Clean – 2.5oz,  Lobster Cape Length – 3 inches Tail Weight 2.75 oz,  Nassau Grouper must be 20 – 30 inches only and must be landed whole (no fillet)

Special Laws and Permits – All fishermen must have a valid license. You must be a Belizean Citizen or permanent resident in order to obtain a fisheries permit. Sea Cucumber requires a special permit. Fish fillets must have a skin patch left on (2 inches by 1 inch). No fishing while using artificial breathing devices (SCUBA gear or Hookah) In Marine Protected areas several restrictions on fishing gear apply. No nets, no long lines, no traps. Information from Belizelaw.org Chapter 2105

5 (1)
Article Rating (1 Votes)
Rate this article
Attachments
There are no attachments for this article.
Comments
There are no comments for this article. Be the first to post a comment.
Full Name
Email Address
Security Code Security Code
Related Articles RSS Feed
What is the population of Belize, and the breakdown by districts?
Viewed 12520 times since Thu, Dec 7, 2006
Is live bait available?
Viewed 6679 times since Sat, Apr 7, 2007
San Pedro Town Dog Control Orders
Viewed 2381 times since Mon, Jan 4, 2016
Are piers public?
Viewed 14749 times since Thu, Apr 2, 2015
Keeping Belize Wild
Viewed 12237 times since Thu, Dec 17, 2015
spear fishing around docks where tourists swim
Viewed 1592 times since Mon, Mar 6, 2017
Young flamboyant trees losing leaves
Viewed 1859 times since Wed, Nov 23, 2016
How to take your (small) dogs or cats to Belize from the US! (2016 rules)
Viewed 4077 times since Thu, Mar 17, 2016
Belize Dog Act, Law for dogs in public places
Viewed 7 times since Mon, Aug 20, 2018
Are pet birds allowed in Belize?
Viewed 8219 times since Mon, Jun 23, 2008